Dividing a Marital Business During Divorce


Both marriage and owning and operating a business can be financially risky. The idea of running a business with a spouse through good and bad may seem romantic, but the reality is sometimes more sobering. According to one expert, married couples run almost one-third of all businesses. Unfortunately now, almost half of all marriages end in divorce. When a married couple running a business in Georgia decides to divorce, the future of the business may be in doubt.

Although divorce is an emotional process, it does not have to be the end of a business. Spouses can make the interests of the business a priority by acting rationally. If they are likely to battle over their share of the business and its value, hiring an independent appraiser may be a wise move, especially if one spouse wants to buy the other spouse's business share or if they have decide to sell the business and divide the proceeds.

A couple should also understand local laws when they divide assets involved in a co-owned business. Valuation methods vary by state, but most states include the concept of enterprise goodwill but do not include the idea of personal goodwill. However, there are some states that will permit the valuation of both.

If the spouses agree to remain in the business, they should clearly define their responsibilities and their power to make decisions. If the spouses cannot work together, they should be realistic and honest about their decisions so the transition to single ownership is easier for both of them.

Dividing marital property can be complicated during divorce because of the emotions involved. If the parties cannot find a common ground and decide reasonably, they might suffer financial consequences that neither wants. The need for sound legal and financial advice may be crucial during property division.

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